Never enough…

I get asked this one question all the time… How do you do it all?  Working three part-time jobs… homeschooling my kids a couple days a week… trying to care for a house that seems to always have some issue that needs fixing (that I usually don’t know how to fix)… trying to be physically and emotionally healthy myself… and most importantly – making sure my kids are well taken care of, nurtured, and loved.  And I’m not going to lie.  It’s a lot.  It was never God’s original design for this to be a one parent job, and it sure runs more smoothly and beautifully with two loving parents working together as a team.  But then sin entered the world, of course, and with it, sickness and death – and here I am.  Flying solo.  And most days, in all honesty, “flying” is way too lively of a word.  (Who came up with that phrase anyway?) Maybe “walking”, perhaps?  Or even “plodding”?

But the truth is, I don’t do it all.  I state that with emphasis all the time when asked, and I’m saying it here and now to anyone and everyone out in cyberspace who might care to stumble across this blog post.   Because, quite honestly, there is no earthly way I could do it all.  I am just one person, and as I tell my kids at times, I’m not an octopus and I can’t be omnipresent.  I only have two arms and two legs, and I can only juggle so much.

That’s why this time of the year gets pretty rough.  School starts up and the kids’ fall schedules come in, and every year as they get older, it gets more challenging trying to figure out how to get them all where they need to go.   It truly takes a village.  I’ve had a few overwhelming days this week where I’ve tried to figure it all out, and in the end, I just decided not to think about it yet.  I told the kids that these are their unique passions and giftings that God has placed on their hearts, and if they want to keep pursuing them, they need to pray, along with me, that the Lord will provide the resources.  He knows them best, and He is also well aware that He created me with the inability to be in more than one place at a time.

The phrase “You are enough” is quite the current trendy statement right now, and is so often said in a well-meaning way as an encouragement to mamas out there.   But the truth is, when we all stop and think about what this really means, none of us are ever truly enough.  And no one should know that better than you mamas out there who juggle many hats on any given day.   Instead, the beautiful, life saving truth of the Gospel changes our understanding that we will never ever be enough on our own – but Jesus always will be.

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Brooke McGlothlin’s new book Gospel Centered Mom drove that truth home for me recently more than any other book I’ve read in a while.  This whole concept of doing enough and being enough is so easy to get sucked into due to our addiction to social media, where it’s easy to compare our lives with others and try to measure up to everyone else we follow.   We fall prey to what McGlothlin calls the “ME Gospel,” where God exists for us instead of Him, and Bible verses are even taken out of context so that we can apply them to our earthly happiness rather than His eternal holiness.   We want our children to obey because we care more about what their obedience says about us than we do about discipling their hearts.

As Gospel centered moms, we have to step back from that ever-increasing mindset, and remind ourselves of the truth.

-I will never ever be enough, no matter how hard I try.  But God is always enough in my desperate lack.  (Philippians 4:19)

-I don’t need to act like I have everything together, because God’s strength is made perfect in my weakness.  (2 Corinthians 12:9)

-Humility pushes me out of the way, even when I don’t want it to, and allows me to do what’s best for someone else instead. (Philippians 2:3)

-God may not give me everything I want, but if I delight myself in Him, He will change my desires to match His desires. (Psalm 37:4)

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There is nothing that has made me see my weakness and frailty more than trying to parent these precious children on my own.  It constantly brings me to my knees, and honestly, often to tears.  But God, in His tender loving care for me, sweeps me up and strengthens me for the tasks the lie ahead, helping me all the while to remember that it is HIM doing all this, and not me.  Sometimes I can’t even explain how, but He always makes a way for us.  These are His kids, and He is writing His story.  He will continue to work His plan in their lives, and in mine, in spite of our mess and my frequent inability to trust Him fully.  And as I choose to arm myself with truth from His Word each day instead of spending time scrolling social media, I remember that motherhood is not about perfection, but about pursuit.

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If you need these same reminders, I would highly recommend picking up a copy of Gospel Centered Mom.   This book brings home this powerful message that every mom needs to be reminded of and offers practical ways to live it out every day of this motherhood journey…

You are not enough.  But that’s ok.  Because He always is.  

christydsiggy2013

 

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To the Single Mama on Mother’s Day…

I know you’re out there, sweet single mama.  In fact, according to current research by the U.S. Census Bureau, there are almost 10 million of you out there just in the United States alone.  You may feel unseen, unknown, or forgotten by those around you, but you are not.  And Mother’s Day is a great time to remind you of that.

For some of you, Mother’s Day may serve as a painful reminder of what you used to have – a husband who cherished you and made sure you felt special and pampered on this day to thank you for all you do for his children.  Or maybe, you’ve never had that and it’s never been a day where anyone made you feel special.  Kids are kids – and they will argue and make messes on this day like any other, easily making Mother’s Day feel empty and void, like something just to “get through.”

But I want to remind today that you are special.  You.  You have been supernaturally chosen by your Heavenly Father to parent those particular children, with their unique gifts and challenges.  He knows how weak you feel and how unequipped you think you are to lead your family well.  He is very aware of how invisible and alone you feel most days in what usually is quite a thankless job. He sees every tear you cry after your children have gone to bed, and how you crash every night from exhaustion as you try to juggle work and home and parenting all on your own.  And He longs for you to know that He’s right there in this with you even when you can’t feel Him close by.

What you’re doing – what we’re doing – is so very difficult.  There are many days when it’s easy to ask “why?” and question God and cry from the weight of it all.  There are nights when all you can do is open a tub of ice cream and binge watch some Netflix to try to escape the heaviness of this world and the challenges of this single parenting journey.  And that’s ok.

You may never understand why God has allowed some things, or why life has to be so challenging.  I sure don’t right now.  But we can both know today that we are being held by our Maker.  He sees us, He loves us, and He has not forgotten us. He celebrates you when you feel forgotten, and He cheers you on when the days are long and hard.

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You are beautiful, cherished, and loved.  And you are enough.  Your children don’t need all those extra things you look around and see that other two-parent families have that just aren’t possible for your family right now.  I know you wish you could give them more.  But really, in all actuality, they just need you.  You… with all your scars and fears and mistakes.  Because, like in the old velveteen rabbit story, they will see real.  And they will see brave.  And boy, how this world needs to see more transparency and bravery.

So go celebrate you this weekend, even if you feel like no one else is.  Celebrate both the physical and the emotional stretch marks that you would rather hide.  Celebrate the recent days when you didn’t think you could make it through, and you did by His strength and none of your own.  Celebrate the highs and the lows of parenting your precious children, because life and motherhood are gifts.  And celebrate most of all because you are His masterpiece. He’s creating something beautiful with your life journey and your family’s story, even with all the bumps and bruises along the way.

And that is worth celebrating.  Through Mother’s Day and beyond.

 

Happy Mother’s Day with love, from another mama just like you who needed these reminders.

christydsiggy2013

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Dear Single Mom…

Dear Sweet Beloved Single Mom, I know it feels sometimes like you are the only one out there in your current situation, but you aren’t. There are many women in similar situations as yours right now, whatever and wherever that is. They are women with similar hopes and shattered dreams, similar fears, and similar hurts. Yes, the reason for those hurts may be different, but hurt is hurt… and pain is pain. You are definitely not … {…Read More}

Guest posting today…

So appreciate all your sweet comments of encouragement after my last post and blog restart. I’m still trying to figure out how to juggle writing with all the other demands I’ve had on me since the school year started. Today, I’m actually over at Susan Merrill’s blog sharing a little about that juggling act. Here’s an excerpt… Almost seven months ago, I entered the world and label of being a “single mom.” I had been blessed with … {…Read More}